Christine Cox

Posts tagged ‘Bookbinding’

California Native Plants in Cloisonné

California Native Plants in Cloisonné
By Christine Cox

Recently, I finished these 4 kiln-fired cloisonné pieces, which are a little over an inch square each. They are made from sterling silver, fine silver and enamels, which are glass ground with different minerals for color. Each was fired repeatedly in a kiln at almost 1500°. It’s an exacting and exciting process with beautiful results.

The oldest cloisonné enamels — where extremely thin wires are used to make the shapes — are from the Middle East in the 2nd century BCE. From there the technique spread to the Byzantine Empire and to Russia. Spreading along the Silk Road, it found its way to China, Japan and beyond.

My pieces are destined to become bezel-set corners on a leather-covered wooden book which will house the letters of a California miner. He mined in and around our area of the California foothills and sent letters home for 3 years. The cloisonné pieces are in celebration of California’s beautiful native plants.

Check out the Wikipedia entry on Cloisonné to learn more.

Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

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6th Century: Cathac of St. Columba

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

~590 to 600 – Cathac of St. Columba – oldest surviving manuscript in Ireland. 58 folios, damaged and incomplete. Vellum. Black ink.

Read more on Wikipedia 

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

 

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Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

 

6th c.: Bookbinding Timeline

rabula gospels

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

586 – Earliest dated illuminated MS – Rabbula Gospels (Beth Zagba, Syria)

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

 

Sponsored by2016vaexclamation300

Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

 

Alice Comes To Life in Books

exploringalice

In August, bookbinder Fran Kovac taught a class at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory & Educational Foundation in Cleveland, OH (www.morganconservatory.org).

The class focused on various decorative techniques, such as framing, attachments and foundation molding, and worked with leather, paper and book cloth, as well as various charms and illustrations suitable for Alice in Wonderland.   The text blocks were made using books-in-sheets from Volcano Arts. The students added illustrations throughout the text before sewing, and the books were sewn with the French Link stitch on parchment straps.

Each student took home their own bound and decorated copy of Alice in Wonderland.”

The students were Edith Briskin, Michele Cotner, Margo Libman, and Amy Fishbach.

Beautiful work, ladies! Thank you, Fran!

Post by Fran Kovac and Christine Cox
Sponsored by Volcano Arts

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Hint from a Book Artist: Board Sizes and Unsupported Stitches

saggingspine_sm

The book on the left has pages and boards aligned at the tail edge. The book on the right doesn’t, and therefore sags.

Hint from a Book Artist:
Board Sizes and Unsupported Stitches
By Christine Cox

“Coptic” and other link stitches are easy to sew, flexible, beautiful, strong, historic and the fact that you can incorporate the board attachment into the sewing makes them a logical choice for a lot of projects. Because these stitches are not sewn over tapes or cords they are called “unsupported,” meaning that the spine will naturally move fairly freely over time.

Because the stitch is so beautiful, book artists often choose to leave it exposed at the spine, which reinforces this weakness from the unsupported sewing.

When a book that hasn’t been rounded and backed sits on a shelf for years, it sags. The weight of the paper pulls the book block down, making the thread stretch. Sooner or later, the book block will sit down on the shelf and the formerly straight line of sewing will curve down in the middle (see photo). In addition to being unsightly, the stretched out thread loosens up the book even more.

Gravity at work makes unsupported stitches an iffy choice for books you’ll want to keep for a long time, but sometimes artists make compromises in the name of art, and not all books are meant to last forever.

Keeping in mind that unsupported link stitches were abandoned historically for a reason, the secret to preventing the sag is to make the boards and the book block almost flush at the tail (bottom) of the book. In other words, the boards are the same height as the book block, plus the normal square (the measurement from the edge of the book block to the edge of the board) at the head, plus a smidge extra (maybe about 1/16″, depending on the size of the book) at the tail. Don’t make the boards and block completely flush because any misalignment in folding the paper or sewing the sections will stick out beyond the board edge.

The squares at the head and fore-edge will still match, so nothing will look odd.

To recap, the fore-edge and head will have squares. The tail will be almost, but not quite flush with the boards.

This tiny, 1/16″ adjustment in the relationship between the sizes of your boards and paper will make your book weather the years looking better and staying a little tighter.

saggingspine

The book on the left has pages and boards aligned at the tail edge. The book on the right doesn’t, and therefore sags.

Sponsored by Volcano Arts
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6th Century: Parchment Codex Prevalance

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

6th to 15th c – Parchment codex is dominant form of book, though it was and has been used both before and after this primary period.

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

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Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

Hint from a Book Artist

Clean white thread

Put talc (baby powder works) on your hands to prevent finger oils from darkening light-colored sewing thread.

Written by Christine Cox
Sponsored by Volcano Arts

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